Rakhine State (Sittwe and Mrauk U)

Mrauk Oo

The four periods of the Rakhine history stretched from the Dhanyawaddy to the Vesali, then to Lemro and finally Mrauk Oo periods. King Min Saw Mon set the foundation stones of the great city in 1433AD, where it remained for next 350 years. Mrauk U lies on a rocky isolated plateau in western Myanmar. Nowadays, some 157Buddhist shrines and pagodas, where a couple of large, well-known ones were renovated while others in various stages of decay, veiled with dense jungle vegetations and crumbled by the strangling green vines. Mrauk Oo is noted for its fort-like temples and pagodas of stone and brick, and for its statuary and relief, which are distinctive. About 8 km north of Mrauk Oo is the archaeological site of Wethali, another ancient capital dating back to the 4th century. Mrauk Oo is reached by a 5 hour boat trip along the Kaladan River from Sittwe.
Comparing to Myanmar’s most popular 11th century Bagan, Mrauk Oo may be smaller in scope with limited transport and accommodation facilities; it is still a well worthy Myanmar’s backwater archaeological destination at the foot of Chin Hills. For those who tend to be more adventurous can be visited to the Chin villages along the Lemro River to see the village women with their tattooed faces, marveled their traditional woven fabrics.


Sittwe, situated on an estuarial island at the confluence of the Kaladan River, Mu River, and Lemro River, is a port city of the Rakhine State. Sittwe sits at the mouth of the Kaladan River where it empties into the Bay of Bangal. The city started as a trading port around 200 years ago and further developed after the British occupation of 1826. But for most tourists, Sittwe is just a hurry-and-leave point for those heading to Mrauk U. In fact, Sittwe has a few advisable highlights that are worth-seeing, like the fish market, the waterfront, Rakhaing State cultural Museum.